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By Barbara Warmbein; European Space Agency

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The scientific results of our mission were published in a book of more than 900 pages. Now, eleven years later, we recognise that the results have inspired and helped many scientific groups to come up with new ideas and develop more experiments in space and on Earth. As in Earth-bound laboratories, the experiments were designed, iterated, conducted, interpreted, adjusted and led to a meaningful outcome by humans. Humans are always the source of innovation, making use of all possible facets of their perception and senses.

Education Hans Schlegel spent the academic year 1968/1969 in the US as an American Field Service (AFS) exchange student and graduated from Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1970 he graduated from Hansa Gymnasium at Cologne, Germany. In 1979 he received a Diploma in Physics (Master of Physics) from the University of Aachen, Germany. Spaceflight experience From 26 Apri to 6 May 1993, Schlegel served as Payload Specialist on STS-55 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. Ninety experiments were conducted during the German-American Spacelab D-2 mission to investigate life sciences, material sciences, physics, robotics, astronomy, and the Earth and its atmosphere.

Is spaceflight a romantic vision only? The answer to this question is clearly “No”. Spaceflights have resulted in many measurable and valuable results. This is true not only for science, but some results affect our daily lives already without us taking much note of it. European astronauts have contributed to quite a lot stories of success in the past 20 years. I will restrict myself to two examples, not because I think the others are less important, but because I feel especially attached to these missions.

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